Activity-Dependent Transfer of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor to Postsynaptic Neurons

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Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2419-2423
DOI: 10.1126/science.1057415

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Neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are thought to be transferred from post- to presynaptic neurons and to be involved in the formation and plasticity of neural circuits. However, direct evidence for a transneuronal transfer of BDNF and its relation to neuronal activity remains elusive. We simultaneously injected complementary DNAs of green fluorescent protein (GFP)–tagged BDNF and red fluorescence protein into the nucleus of single neurons and visualized expression, localization, and transport of BDNF in living neurons. Fluorescent puncta representing BDNF moved in axons in the anterograde direction, though some moved retrogradely, and transferred to postsynaptic neurons in an activity-dependent manner.

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